Background

Changes to a long-running program designed to mitigate truck traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are expected to begin Nov. 19, subject to the conclusion of a Federal Maritime Commission review.

Currently the PierPASS traffic mitigation fee is assessed on loaded containers entering or exiting any of the 12 international container terminals at the ports of LA and Long Beach during peak hours (Monday through Friday, 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). The TMF was first imposed in 2005 as an incentive to move goods during off-peak hours to address issues such as congestion, security, and air quality. However, port users have expressed a desire for changes to increase flexibility and reduce the bunching up of trucks that often occurs before the start of the off-peak shifts.

Under the so-called PierPASS 2.0 program, a single flat TMF of $31.52 per 20-foot-equivalent unit will be imposed on containers moved during both day and night shifts. The rate for all other container sizes will be $63.04. Previously the TMF was $72.09 per TEU and $144.18 per 40-foot container but was only imposed on containers shipped during peak hours. Empty containers or chassis, transshipment cargo, domestic cargo, and import or export cargo that transits the Alameda corridor (which imposes its own fee) in a container will all continue to be exempt from the TMF.

The revised program will also require appointments for picking up import containers to spread traffic across the two shifts. However, a press release from PierPASS notes that nine of the 12 terminals already use appointment systems and the remaining three are planning to launch their own appointment systems in advance of PierPASS 2.0 implementation. The terminals have also agreed on common appointment windows and common last appointment times for each shift.

Cargo owners moving containers into and out of these ports by truck gate that are not already registered with PierPASS can do so here.

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